Gaming only works because you get feedback for every action you take. A lot of times, this takes the form of visuals on a screen, but not always.
Google just launched a list of games on its Play app market for Android phones called “Games You Can Feel.” All of these curated recommendations feature force-feedback that rumble or vibrate depending on what’s happening. Immersion, a company that makes a tool that enables developers to quickly add touch-feedback to their games, powers the rumble featured in many of the Google Play apps. The list includes big-name apps like Angry Birds Friends from Rovio and Trials Frontier from Ubisoft. This is part of Immersion’s efforts to help developers add more interactivity into their games through vibrations without destroying gamers’ batteries.
“Over the past few months, Immersion has worked closely with leading mobile game developers to customize tactile effects for their games,” Immersion vice president of content and media Jason Patton said. “From this effort, we are seeing a whole new user experience emerge — one that is more immersive and engaging for mobile game players. Touch technology advances game design, enabling developers to add tactile effects to create a more in-depth gaming experience.”
Touch feedback like this can work really well on mobile, which is a platform where many people play with the sound turned down. Rumble can replace audio cues that gamers aren’t hearing.
Immersion’s TouchSense Engage features a library of effects that developers can quickly add to their games, and the company has begun working hand-in-hand with studios that want to customize feedback vibrations.
Developer HandyGames, which has its Ninja Hero Cats and Clouds & Sheep games on Google’s haptics playlist, is one of the companies that is close with Immersion.
“[We] worked with Immersion early on to integrate tactile effects in our mobile games,” HandyGames chief executive Christopher Kassulke said. “It is a fantastic feature that has become a seamless part of the experience we offer. The new collection in Google Play is a reaffirmation that the tactile experience has evolved to become a more rewarding part of the game play.”
If you want an example of what Immersion’s tech is capable of, the company has uploaded a Showcase app that emulates the sensation of riding a roller coaster. Check it out on Google Play.